Genomics Aotearoa

Genomic breakthrough in invasive species management

Genomics Aotearoa Apr 15, 2020

Nick Kachel The ship rat, or black rat, is one of the most infamous invasive species in the world. They’re intelligent, adaptable, and they multiply like… well… ship rats. A native to the Indian sub-continent, this pest has now spread to every corner of the globe and is an outstanding carrier for multiple zoonotic diseases – those which can be … Read More

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The importance of the humble blueberry

Genomics Aotearoa Feb 26, 2020

Dr David Chagné New Zealand is involved in a US$12.8 million USDA grant to improve the quality of blueberry and cranberry. The four-year project, led by North Carolina State University, is part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which funds multi-year, multi-institutional collaborative projects. Genomics Aotearoa and Plant and Food Research Ltd have … Read More

Finish what’s on your plate

Genomics Aotearoa Nov 04, 2019

Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called “bases” – that make up the DNA molecule. The sequence … Read More

Genomics, genetic persistence and the hihi

Genomics Aotearoa Aug 20, 2019

Dr Anna Santure, University of Auckland How important is genetic diversity to species persistence? This is a question we’ve been puzzling over in New Zealand, and worldwide, for some decades. It has been difficult to address using ‘traditional’ approaches to determine genetic diversity, which sample just a handful of positions in the genome. However, in recent years, with much lower … Read More

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The complexity of stick insect genomes and why it could help New Zealand conservation

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 25, 2019

Dr Ann McCartney We have recently completed the first high-quality genome of a stick insect using link read technology, but what does this mean? And why is a gold standard reference genome important to New Zealand’s conservation efforts? Stick insects are actually biologically interesting. Firstly, in times of stress, they have the ability to become parthenogenic, meaning the females lay … Read More

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Don’t ignore the ‘omics

Genomics Aotearoa Jul 23, 2019

Professor Cristin Print ‘Omics technologies are an advance that few health practitioners can ignore. The last five years has seen an expanding range of technological advances. Genomics and related ‘omic technologies are rapidly penetrating into the mainstream of primary and secondary care and transforming our knowledge of disease through research. Some of these new technologies are destined to be used … Read More

Why it’s important to have Māori-led capacity in genomics research

Genomics Aotearoa Mar 06, 2019

Dr Phillip Wilcox Genomics research is an emerging frontier that will mean applications such as personalised medicine being developed for New Zealand-specific problems, and something that will see an increasing focus on the needs of Māori populations. However, Māori are significantly under-represented in genomic sciences. One successful way of building capability to improve understanding of … Read More

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A random bioinformatics career walk … and how Genomics Aotearoa is helping researchers be a little less scared of the “command line”

Genomics Aotearoa Jan 30, 2019

Dr Alana Alexander A “random walk” is a mathsy term for a path strung together with a bunch of random steps (not unlike trying to walk my stubborn St. Bernard cross on a leash). Despite being a bioinformatician (which folks often think means “also a maths wiz”), my maths is (unfortunately) not great. Therefore, I mention random walks not because … Read More